Ovary Removal May Up Dementia Risk
Study Shows Estrogen May Help Protect Younger Women's Brains
Estrogen Therapy Revisited
Rocca is quick to point out that his findings do not address the
controversial question of whether estrogen therapy is a good idea for women
approaching menopause with their ovaries still intact.
But in a separate study, reported last spring, taking estrogen replacement
therapy before the age of 65 did appear to protect women from developing
dementia later on, whether or not they still had their ovaries.
Participants in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Memory Study who took
estrogen alone or estrogen plus progestin before age 65 were about 50% less
likely to develop Alzheimer's disease or another age-related dementia as women
who did not take hormones before that age.
Stanford University professor of neurology Victor Henderson, MD, who led
that study, says the clinical implications of all the new research remain
"Despite very important knowledge gained in the WHI Memory Study there
are still important unanswered questions concerning the relationship between
estrogen and cognition, and the Mayo study offers one more piece of the
puzzle," he says.